ICS – Internet connection sharing

Internet connection sharing (ICS) is a method for connecting multiple computers in a LAN to the Internet through a single connection and a single IP address. ICS typically uses NAT technologies to achieve this and works with most connection technologies, including DSL, cable, ISDN, dial-up and satellite. The device with the modem or broadband interface that establishes the connection to the Internet is called the ICS host, or gateway while the other devices that connect to the Internet via the network and the ICS host are called ICS clients. If the ICS host fails, then all of the ICS clients lose their Internet connection.

Sharing an Internet connection can be achieved through either software or hardware solutions. All versions of Windows from Windows 98 and on have ICS software included in the operating system. However, there are also products such as WinGate and WinProxy, which are third-party shareware alternatives that will turn a computer into a gateway or proxy server. Hardware solutions involve a NAT-based hardware routerthat is connected directly to the Internet connection adapter, and each ICS client is then connected to the router.

Also referred to as simply Internet sharing, on Linux systems, this is called IP masquerading.

Webopedia Staff
Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Related Articles

Phishing

What is phishing? Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which victims are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by an attacker posing as...

Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software is used to manipulate or enhance digital images. This category of software ranges from basic apps, which are able to apply...

SOHO Business Solutions: Free Email Marketing Services

Just like big businesses, SOHO (small office/home office) owners can leverage email marketing systems to communicate with customers, partners and employees. Just like big businesses,...

Fintech

Fintech, also known as "financial technology," is a term used to describe companies that use innovative technology to create more efficient, transparent, and cost-effective...

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...

HRIS

Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...